Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All Chocolate Cake

My daughter turned nine yesterday and this is the cake I made for her birthday.She asked for an all chocolate cake.I made a the cake using Duncan Hines cake mix and made the chocolate frosting using a recipe I got from  I just tweaked it a bit to suit me and made the chocolate roses using candy mold.
Ingredients:For a  2-layer 9-inch cake
1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups PLUS 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup milk
1tbs canola oil
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa,oil and vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency (The oil will keep the frosting soft even after keeping in the refrigerator).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Semiya Payasam

Yesterday was Onam the biggest  festival of Keralites.This is the dessert that I made to celebrate Onam. My Mom and Grandmother makes the best Payasams that I have ever had .Only thing that I don't like about their payasam is the long stirring and cooking time it takes to make it. So I thought for a while for a way to get nearly the same taste with little effort and came up with this.
Semiya (Vermicelli) :3/4 cup
Milk: 4cups
Condensed milk:1
Ghee: 2 tbsp.
Cashew nuts: 1/4 cup.
Raisins: 1/4 cup.
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp.

Heat 1 tbsp. of ghee in a wide mouth, thick bottom pressure cooker. Add cashew-nuts and raisins. Fry them in the ghee till cahews turn a golden color and raisins turns to little balls, then remove them and keep aside. Add the remaining ghee and fry the vermicelli to a golden brown. Add  1 cup of milk along with 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 5 minutes. After the pressure subsides add remaining milk and condensed milk. Boil for some more time until the payasam is thickened. Remove from the stove and add the cardamom powder. Garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins. Enjoy your 8 minute payasam.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mushroom Fry Kerala style

Being vegetarians, mushrooms are something that I often substitute with in a meat or chicken recipe. This is one such recipe in which I have used mushrooms instead of the normal chicken, of course, with my own twists - and it turned out simply delicious. My husband wanted me to blog it immediately, before I forgot it!

Button Mushrooms - 16 oz, sliced
Onion - 1 1/2 medium size, diced
Green chillies - 1
Ginger - 1'' piece
Garlic - 3 cloves
Cardomom - 3 nos, powdered
Cloves - 3 nos, powdered
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp (or to your level of spiciness )
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Tomato - 1, diced

Saute 1 onion till it tuns translucent. Set it aside. Now saute the remaining 1/2 onion till it turns almost brown in color; then add the tomatoes and saute them till it turns almost dry. Now add the ginger and garlic(made to a paste) and saute for a minute more. To this, add all the other powders and the curry leaves till the smell turns to a well cooked one. Turn the heat to medium, and add the mushrooms and salt to taste. Saute for a couple of minutes till the mushrooms are done. Now add the onions kept aside and saute for another minute. Your delicious mushroom fry is ready.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Carrot cake with cakemix

Necessity is the mother of invention - how true! I wanted to bake a cake, but found that I had ran out of the all purpose flour. When I searched my pantry, I found out I had some cake mixes left, but I was in a mood for a carrot cake. I googled for some options of making a carrot cake with the ingredients that I had, and mixing and matching the many recipes out there, I made my own version of this carrot cake using a cake mix. The result was a soft and yummy cake.

1-cake mix (yellow)1/2 cup-Veg Oil

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2tsp.ground all spice
1/4tsp ground nut meg
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1 1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
Beat all the wet ingredients for a minute and then add the dry ingredients and whisk well till all the ingredients  are mixed well. Then transfer it to greased baking pan or muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bitter Gourd - Potato Fry

This is a variation of the recipe I got from a North Indian friend. My husband and me both like almost any of the preparations of bitter gourd (karella), and when I tried out this one, it was predictably a big hit with both of us. This goes well with rice and Moong dal curry (posted earlier).

Bitter gourd - 4 nos, grate or make shavings of the skin and the fleshy part
Potato - 4 medium sliced
Onion -1 chopped
Green chilli -1
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 8 cloves chopped
Curry leaves
Oil - 4 tbs

Heat oil in a flat bottom pan, add the onion, green chilli, chilli powder, asfotida, cumin powder and saute. Now add the potato to this and when the potato is done, add the bitter-gourd shavings and garlic to this. Stir fry till it is well-done, adding more oil as necessary.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Moong Dal

This is a variation of a recipe I got from a north-Indian friend. This can be had like a soup or goes well with rice or chappathis. With rice, it is best taken along with bitter-gourd and potato fry. The recipe for which I'll will post in the next post.

Moong dal -1 1/2 cup
Tomato - 2 medium
Ginger - 1'' piece
Green chillies - 2nos
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaf - 3/4 cup, chopped
Garlic - 8 cloves, chopped
Ghee - 1 tbs
Cooking oil - 1 tbs

Cook all the above ingredients (except for the garlic) in a pressure cooker, adding salt to taste for 5 minutes. Then heat a mixture of oil and ghee. Put some cumin seeds and when it splutters, add the chopped garlic to that. Sauté till it turns brown and add this to the cooked dal and mix well.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Black Forest Roulade

It's time again for yet another Sweet Punch and the challenge for July was selected by Maria and it was a Black Forest Roulade or Swiss rolls  as it's commonly known.This was an easy and tasty Roulade .The only differance I made was using my own preserved cherries in lesser quantity as my daughter is not a cherry fan .And another change that I would do the next time I  make this would be to spread the whipped cream first, and then add the cherries as I think that would make spreading the cream easier.

Dark chocolate - 200gm, chopped coarsely
Hot water - 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Instant coffee powder - 1 tsp
Eggs - 4, separated (room temp)
Caster sugar - 1/2 cup (110 gms)
Caster sugar - 1 tbsp, extra
Thickened cream - 3/4 - 1 cup
Kirsch - 1 tbsp

Cherry filling:
Seedless black cherries - 425gm can
Cornflour - 3 tsp
Kirsch - 1 tbsp

Position oven shelves; preheat oven to 180 C. Grease 25 cm/30 cm swiss roll pan; line base with baking paper. Combine chocolate, water and coffee in large heat proof bowl; sit bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Using wooden spoon, stir until chocolate melts then immediately remove bowl from fire.
Beat egg yolks & sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until thick & creamy; this will take about 5 minutes. Using large metal spoon, fold egg mixture into warm chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites in small bowl  with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Using metal spoon, gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture, in two batches. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven about 10 mins.

Meanwhile, place a large sheet of baking paper on board; sprinkle with extra sugar. Turn cake onto sugared baking paper; carefully remove lining paper, cover cake loosely with a tea towel. Cool cake to room temp.

Beat cream & kirsch in small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form. Spread cake evenly with cooled cherry filling then spread Kirsch cream over cherry mixture. Roll cake from a long side, using paper to lift and guide the roll; place on serving plate. Dust with cocoa powder. Cover roll; refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. You can also dress up the roulade  with cherries or by piping some cream on top.

Cherry filling

Drain cherries, reserving 1/4 cup (60ml) of syrup. Using knife, chop cherries coarsely. Using wooden spoon blend cornflour and reserved syrup in a saucepan. Add cherries; stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, cool to room temp

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creamy Spinach with Pasta Sea Shells

Whenever I feel lazy and my husband is on a business trip I used to just cook some pasta and top it with some store brought pasta sauce to satisfy my daughter.She being a pasta lover would eat it without any complaints.But sometimes I felt guilty thinking that I didn't feed her well. It was then that I searched for an easy recipe and found one. As usual I altered it a bit to suit my style and now I have an easy,tasty and healthy pasta dish that I can whip up in no time.
Serves 4
1 (16-ounce) package pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (9-ounce) package fresh spinach
1 large tomato, cubed (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chilli-flakes
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to the package directions; drain and return to pan to the stove to keep it warm.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, make scrambled eggs and keep it aside. Heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic; saute 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in spinach, basil,chili flakes, salt, and pepper; cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in heavy or whipping cream and parmesan cheese.
Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and mix in pasta and eggs; cook an additional 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, transfer onto individual serving plates, and serve with additional parmesan cheese.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Veg Burrito Supreme

We love Mexican cuisine  in our house, maybe because it's spicy like our Indian cuisine .Each time I make this my daughter finishes her dinner without any complaints as this is one of her favorites. And as a mother I am happy that she had her share of veggies  without much tantrums. I am sure you will like it too!
Corn or flour tortillas
Refried beans, warmed
Soy granules
Taco seasoning
Sour cream
Lettuce, shredded or finely chopped
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Tomatoes, diced
Lightly cook some tortillas on a griddle or in a heavy skillet till they are warmed.
Cook some dried pinto beans or kidney beans. Drain, add salt and hot sauce, and mash.Or open a can of refried beans.
Fry some soy granules after washing and draining them with onions ,few garlic cloves and season using taco seasoning, or  any of your favorite  seasonings. I even have used chicken masala powder  (just DON'T leave out cumin!) .
Assemble tortillas by spreading a thin layer of refried beans first then layer in tortillas with seasoned soy granules, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cheese, and diced tomato .I also tossed in some leftover hash browns . Enjoy! :)
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